We met with Brad today.  He used to be Father Brad.  Hugh recognized him right away.  Father Brad was Hugh's Grandma Margaret's priest.  I actually already knew about Father Brad.  Hugh has spoken about how much his grandma liked him and how good he was to Hugh's entire family.

Brad was good to us as well today.  We enjoyed our session.  I didn't learn anything new about how Hugh is feeling and he didn't learn anything new about my feelings. . . We already talk so much, so that wasn't surprising.  It was just nice to hear Brad's experiences and insights on how we are feeling.

The first thing he asked was how old Tripp was when he passed away.  I told him, "he was only 5 days."  Brad told me never to use the word only.  There is no such thing as only 5 days.  I cried.  I hadn't even realized I had said only.  Just because Tripp had a short stay with us doesn't mean we will feel any less of a loss.

We got to tell Brad our story.  We told him about things we are scared of and we tried to put all of our feelings into words.  It was good to talk to someone who has training in grief counseling.  He said a number of things that we were able to connect with.

He also gave us a couple of things to do.  One was light a candle everyday for 1 hour.  Brad told us rituals are good and lighting a candle will represent warmth and light and could be a focus or grounding point for us.  We have it lit right now.  Hugh and I thought about getting a special candle to use, but instead decided on getting a nice holder for whatever candle we feel like lighting (rather than the plate we are currently using)!

Brad also suggesting getting outside.  I automatically said, "yah, right.  It's miserable" and Brad promptly responded that he didn't care and that being outside feels good.  Dang it.  He's right.  So this afternoon, I will bundle Calder up and we will head outdoors for 20 minutes or as long as we last!


  1. You are so wise to be so open and willing to seek professional support. I, too, chose to go for counseling after Ray died, but thought I could deal with it initially. It took me a year and a half before I seeked help. I think back then I thought people would consider me to be weak. In the end, my grief counseling was invaluable and allowed me to understand and to accept how I was feeling. It helped me to feel more in control. I learned many invaluable coping skills. In the end, my counselor felt that I was extremely thorough in my processing and I always hung onto her final words, "If you take care of the scars, you will see the stars". Your emotional health is fragile at this time. A good night's rest helps immensely with coping and do allow your counseling sessions to take you and Hugh where you need to go...deeper and deeper! Smiles are with you today. P.S. I always think of the stars as windows to heaven. (Listen to Anne Murray's song...Stars are the Windows to Heaven). It was Rhianna's (18 months old) dedication song to her dad at his funeral.
    Bonnie S.


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